On Thursday, June 8, more than 25 members of the bipartisan New Hampshire Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, key members of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, and valued in-state conservation partners gathered for an End-of-Session Luncheon in Concord, NH.
During the luncheon, attendees discussed many critical sportsmen’s issues that were advanced during the 2017 legislative session, and were briefed by New Hampshire Fish and Game on the negative impact that search and rescue operations have had on their overall funding.
The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is primarily funded by sportsmen and women through the American System of Conservation Funding. However, a small portion of their budget comes from other sources (such as the recently adopted “Hike Safe” card, championed by Caucus members, which provides roughly $100,000 a year for search and rescue operations of lost and/or injured outdoor recreationists. Other sources of funding for these rescue operations do exist, but do not come close to covering the overall costs incurred by the Department to conduct these operations.
Following the briefing, Caucus members and partners debated several proposals to address this issue in the future to provide adequate funding for these operations so the Department can continue to deliver critical conservation programs that benefit all New Hampshire residents and visitors of the Granite State into the future.
CSF wishes to thank the New Hampshire Wildlife Federation and Rath, Young, and Pignatelli for their support of this event that provided a venue for these key discussions.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?